Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's been a week...

This virus just does not want to go away. I'm still on antibiotics, still coughing up stuff, still tired. But overall, I do think I'm a bit better. Just not up to anything more than going to work and doing minimum maintenance.

I did take time last night to listen to some bird calls. I'm sure I've mentioned here that there is a particularly obnoxious bird that's lived in my area ever since I moved in. It calls early in the morning, and again in the late afternoon, especially in spring, but off and on all summer. It only took a couple of minutes of research, and I need to hear the actual bird again to be sure (it's rained most of the last week, and the birds have been hiding), but....

It's a cardinal.

Apparently, they like to nest in tangled bushes closer to the ground. We certainly have a wealth of them along the pathway out front. I've seen one a number of times, flying up to the neighbor across the way's gutters. From what I've read, they are easy to spot at the bird feeders because of their coloring, but surprisingly hard to spot in the bush, as it were.

The final four notes of the calls I've been hearing are pretty unmistakable as the "chipping" noise the cardinal will make.

Glad that is cleared up.

I think there may be hawk's nest in the area. There's a very tall evergreen about a hundred yards from our building, in a rather open space between our complex's property and the homes across a bordering street. I've seen one land up there more than once, but have yet to get out the binoculars. At least one has been flying overhead every so often.

Add to that the relative absence of small animals (chipmunks, squirrels, voles, snakes) lately, and a raptor of some sort is a definite possibility.

There's a hook on the patio dividing fence in a kind of strange spot. It may be just the spot for a small bird feeder. It can be seen easily through the living room patio doors, and is accessible enough that refilling it won't be a bother. Squirrels might be an issue, as I'm sure they can walk the edge of the fence and slide their rat-bodies down to reach it. But if there is a pair of nesting hawks around, the tree climbing rodent population should be dropping steadily.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Round two

Or maybe just the continuation of round one.

The week after I came back from New Orleans - the first week in March - I came down with a nasty upper respiratory infection/ear infection thing (based on the incubation time, I think someone at work was kind enough to hand off the germs before I left town). Because I'm me, I waited just over a week before I decided I probably should see the doctor, as things just weren't getting better.

A week's worth of antibiotic, hard core cough med and rest. After that week, the cough was mostly gone, I had more energy (though I still went to bed ridiculously early) and it appeared things were on the upswing.

Oh, stupid, stupid me.

The cough is back. Over last weekend I had a pretty significant earache. I feel generally lousy (though I haven't had any coffee since Wednesday morning; that is most likely the cause of the headache, something I intend to remedy very shortly).

Started a second course of antibiotics Wednesday night. It would have been Tuesday, but between the nurse not bothering to read the note about calling my cell phone after a certain time, and the pharmacy being out of stock(!) on the med, there was a 24 hour delay.

Just long enough for everything to get a better grip.


I've been lolling about at home the last two days, dozing in the recliner until it's time for bed. I did manage to get the grocery order put away, but it wasn't large and there wasn't much else in the refrigerator, so there wasn't much rearranging to do. I'm hoping to go downstairs and cook up the pork chops that are thawing. It's a family recipe, sort of - flour and brown the chops. Slice a bunch of potatoes and onions very thinly and put them in a casserole dish. Pork chops go on top. Pour water or a broth/wine mix over just cover the potatoes. Cover tightly with foil and bake for an hour or so. I'm thinking that since I can use the mandoline for all the slicing, it shouldn't take much energy. And I can watch quilting videos while it cooks.

Pam and I have a craft day set up for tomorrow, along with dinner out. The dinner is to use a gift certificate I've got for a farm-to-table local restaurant. I'm looking forward to this - just hoping I don't cough all over everyone.

We'll see how it goes. Craft day is at Pam's, which means I can't really work on anything I really need to work on (hauling my machine quilting set up over there for what ends up being just a couple of hours of actual sewing time is ridiculous). I've got some hand work that I only work on when craft day is at her place. It may never get done, but it keeps my hands busy and it's a craft, so...

I'd better hop to it, or I may not be having dinner until ten o'clock.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Throwing her bonnet into the ring.

At long last, the presumed has been made official: Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for president.

Woo hoo?

There is some noise in certain quarters that "it is about time for a woman president", as if Hillary has no accomplishments on which to run.

They were probably in an e-mail housed on that personal server of hers, right next to the ones with the subject line "Benghazi".

Anyway, we have very recent experience of electing a candidate president because he fit some social justice, "it's about time for this", let's elect based on affirmative action rather than actual experience type criteria.

How's that working out for you?

If we were truly a post racial, gender neutral society, we'd be electing people based on their qualifications, not the color of their skin, what gender they self-identify as or whether they eat cornflakes on Tuesdays. And if the best choice were a white man, his gender and skin color would not work against him.

Please, please, as you consider the many candidates vying for your votes, think on their qualifications and experience, not on whether they have lady bits or dark skin. Let the best candidate capture your vote.

As for Ms. Clinton - do we really want four more years of Clinton-era politics in the White House?

Dear Lord, do we really want Bill Clinton as "First Husband"?

Thursday, April 09, 2015


I woke up just before two o'clock last night. Well, early this morning. It was my usual middle-of-the-night call of nature, but it happened to coincide with one of the biggest thunder booms I've heard in a long time. In fact, for a moment there, I wondered if there had been an explosion somewhere in the condo complex.

Ten seconds later, Niagara Falls relocated to southeastern Wisconsin and camped over my house. What a downpour.

It's been raining/thundering/lightening off and on ever since. Things were pretty fierce again around four-thirty and five. Yet my drive to work was entirely rain free. All of the traffic lights between the Starbucks I use and work were green - almost a dozen of them. The street was deserted as well, almost as if the rain washed away the people in addition to the accumulation of road salt.

No sooner had I entered the building at work than the rain returned in force.

I have a feeling I've pretty much used up my blessings for the day.

Wisconsin has been under mild drought conditions for the last couple of months. The winter's snowmelt was less than normal, and we've had very little precipitation at all. This rain will go a long way to fixing all that. More storms are forecast for overnight tonight, after which it is supposed to warm up into the low sixties for temperature for the foreseeable future. All this leads me to make a bold pronouncement:

Spring is finally here.

I'm not saying a few snow flurries are completely out of bounds during the rest of the month, but the harsh winds and biting temperatures of winter are history (at least until late November).


Monday, April 06, 2015

Monday musings

It's been all sports, all weekend on the local media outlets. First, it was the run up to the Wisconsin Badger's win the NCAA Final Four. Sunday, it switched a bit to the prospect of the Milwaukee Brewers' opening day.

Today, the 4;30 a.m. news broadcast (why yes, I'm up that early and watching it, why do you ask?) featured the anchor team sitting on the track around Miller Park (the stadium roof was closed, but they still looked cold at 34 degrees), talking

The Brewers' game will be over soon, and good thing, as they are getting their behinds spanked. Ten - zero, last I checked. The Badger game, however, doesn't start until almost 8:30 tonight. More hysteria, um, enthusiasm on the evening news.

I am really happy for them, but the media coverage is a bit excessive.

But all the hoopla did point something out for me. Over the long weekend, I didn't do my usual perusing of the news sites, nor make a point to watch any of the evening news (I tried to watch the weather, but it was all about the weather for opening day...).

I realized, as I have at other times when I'm on vacation, that I really am happier if I don't watch/see/read news accounts. While I like to be well informed, there are things I just can't do anything about.

Do I really need to know that there are indications that the Yellowstone super volcano is showing increasing signs of activity, and if it blows, life in the US - and possibly a large part of Canada - is pretty much over?

Is there a reason to listen to the posturings of either side of the Iran nuclear "agreement" argument? After all, I already know that the instant Iran develops a bomb (and that is less than a year away, I think) she will use it. All the "agreements" on earth won't stop that.

Does anyone need to know that Kim Kardashian may not be able to have more children? Does anyone else think that may not be a bad thing?

Do we care that a defeated Kentucky player got caught on a hot mike being an immature, self-centered sore loser?

Who wants to read the non-apology from Sabrina Erdely to everyone involved in the Rolling Stone/UVA non-rape story - the apology to everyone but the male students she accused in the first place?

Eh. I think I just need to stay away from the news.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Resurrection Day

He is Alive

Angels are watching over us
With the saints that have gone on before us
And they join in a heavenly chorus
Singing “He is alive, He is alive”

He is alive
Death is defeated
Sin has retreated
From the power of the Son
And He is alive
The enemy is faded
The battle still rages
But the war has been won

The stars in the heavens rejoice
With the sun and the moon
And with all of the earth
Let all of creation now lift up their voice
Singing “He is alive, He is alive”

Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive

He is alive
Death is defeated
Sin has retreated
From the power of the Son

He is alive, He is alive
He is alive, He is alive

Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday quickie

- It doesn't matter if the O-team's agreement (if reached) with Iran is only valid for two years, as Iran has no intention of honoring any agreement, anyway. If the end result is supposed to be a one year "breakout" period to achieving nuclear status, Iran will bomb Israel, and most likely the US, on day 366, if not before.

- The Rolling Stones are indeed playing in Milwaukee. Ours is the smallest venue on the tour, by at least 50%. All the rest are stadiums or near-stadiums; we have a little amphitheater that points towards Lake Michigan - no chance for additional seating. But what really matters is (that by moving opening day up a day) Summerfest can claim the Stones headlined Summerfest. Bah.

- The red tailed hawks at Cornell are nesting on top of a different light pole this year, but the researchers still got cameras set up. Two eggs laid and counting.

- Still sick. Or rather, relapsed, as I'd recovered to about 75% before things started to take a nosedive. Have too much to do to take more time off, and if I go to the doc, he will probably insist on it. What to do...

- Weather isn't helping. Up and down. Sixty something Thursday, forties on Friday. Never know which coat to wear, or what the temperature in my office will be like.

- I may need to transfer my prescriptions to a different Walgreens. Honestly, it's been nothing but issues since I moved three years ago. I want e-mail notification only, no phone calls. Especially phone calls to remind me I have prescriptions waiting - I ordered the refills, and I know they are there. Can't remove my phone number from my account, and can't change the setting to indicate no calls. Grr. Don't get me started on the staff.

- Haven't read much for March. The one nonfiction book I did finish isn't really a book so much as a list of hints, but I am still counting it. Recap up in the next couple of days.

- I should probably just curl up with a good novel and rest for the weekend, but a warmer day Saturday means I should get out and do a bit of post-winter clean up, pulling weeds, getting rid of the last of the leaves on the patio. I'm loathe to order/buy plants until that stuff is done, as I've a very bad track record keeping plants alive in pots (well, in the ground, too, but at least once they are planted they have a fighting chance).

- Already tired of the fight over Indiana' religious freedom law. I'm also so very over having other people try to dictate what my personal moral stance should be. I can tolerate other moralities just fine, but when you try to force me to accept that other moral system as correct, you'll have a fight on your hands. This issue has never been about discrimination, but about forcing others to accept your moral code.

- I'm short on sleep, can you tell? #nofilter